Germany is one of the first countries taking steps on the way to justice for Syria: two years ago, an international arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan, former head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Service, was issued. And two months ago, the first trial worldwide on Syrian state torture started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany.
In both cases, Syrian witnesses supported by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) contributed to the proceedings. Also, other European countries like France, Sweden and Austria started investigations to end impunity for the most severe crimes in Syria.
Despite such important steps, those efforts reveal a remarkable deficiency: so far, sexual and gender-based crimes have not been investigated or prosecuted as a crime against humanity, thus as part of a systematic and widespread attack against the civilian population. Especially female perspectives and testimonies on, but not exclusively, sexual and gender-based crimes are missing in legal procedures.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, ECCHR, Urnammu and Syrian Women’s Network invite you to a press briefing on the commission and severe impacts of sexual and gender-based violence in detention facilities in Syria since March 2011, as well as the importance of gender-sensitive prosecution of crimes against humanity in Germany and elsewhere.
The press conference will be held online and with simultaneous translation in Arabic and English. Please register in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org until 17 June 2020.